Bloomsbury acquires Rowman & Littlefield Academic

    Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LSE: BMY), the leading independent publisher, today announces that it has completed the asset purchase of the academic imprints and associated titles of Rowman & Littlefield, one of the most respected independent publishers in the US Academic market.  It is the biggest acquisition by Bloomsbury to date, and significantly accelerates and strengthens Bloomsbury’s academic and digital presence in North America.

    The deal will double the size of Bloomsbury’s Academic & Professional business in the US, considerably strengthening the company’s arts, humanities and social sciences and digital resource publishing. The acquisition reflects Bloomsbury’s growth strategy of focusing on deeper global market presence, subject area expansion and continued innovation in digital scholarship and learning. 

    Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, commented: “This acquisition is a game-changer for Bloomsbury. Rowman & Littlefield is one of the few independent US academic publishers of such scale and it is great that our discussions with Jed Lyons have led to this acquisition. Their 40,000 academic titles added to ours will make us a significant US academic publisher, growing Bloomsbury’s academic and digital publishing presence in North America, opening new markets and publishing areas to Bloomsbury, and is a key milestone in our long-term growth strategy.”

    Rowman & Littlefield is a privately-owned independent publisher, founded in 1949 and based in Lanham, Maryland. It is a greatly respected list with leading authors in the arts, humanities and social sciences and important publishing partnerships with world-renowned academic and professional institutions. The long-awaited work of the Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, for example is due to be published next month. Commissioned by the British Psychoanalytical Society and co-published by Rowman & Littlefield, it supplements Freud’s writing with substantial editorial commentaries through the lens of modern scholarship. Rowman & Littlefield is an excellent strategic fit for Bloomsbury’s Academic & Professional division.

    The asset sale does not include the Rowman & Littlefield other businesses, including Globe Pequot (with the exception of the Applause and Backbeat imprints), its trade publishing arm, Sundance-Newbridge, its K-8 education business and National Book Network (NBN), or its trade distribution business. 

    Jed Lyons, President and CEO of Rowman & Littlefield said, “2024 marks the 75th anniversary of Rowman & Littlefield. When Nigel Newton approached me and described his vision for how our academic businesses would complement Bloomsbury’s academic business, it soon became clear that there is a compelling fit. The superb publishing team that runs the Rowman & Littlefield’s academic business will find a welcoming home at Bloomsbury and our authors will benefit from the global reach of Bloomsbury’s sales and marketing efforts.”

    Sabrina McCarthy, President of Bloomsbury US, commented, “The acquisition of the academic imprints of Rowman & Littlefield solidifies Bloomsbury Academic’s position in the US and globally as an important publisher.  We are thrilled to welcome over 115 new colleagues to the team.  Their academic expertise, impressive list of authors and strong backlist will help to grow the Bloomsbury Digital Resources portfolio and title offering in any format to academic readers across the globe.

    “Our academic division stands for excellence and originality in scholarship, learning and professional practice. Rowman & Littlefield, along with our most recent acquisition of ABC-Clio, ensures we are an ambitious force to address the changing market opportunity from K-12 schools to higher education and beyond. It cements Bloomsbury’s overall presence in the US as a major independent publisher”.